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REAL Solutions program getting results with state league help
WASHINGTON (11/16/09)--Lois Kitsch of the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) during the American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL) annual meeting offered an update on the “REAL Solutions” program and detailed league involvement in the program, saying that “really good work is being done by leagues in their states.” Among the work highlighted by Kitsch is the positive growth of the program, which has surpassed its three-year goals, with now 35 states having signed Real Solutions agreements, surpassing the original goal of 33 states. The program has also added 820 participating Real Solutions credit unions and 1.53 million new members. Kitsch also pointed to a number of programs in specific states as examples of league effectiveness in growing Real Solutions, including:
* Iowa, and its offering of services to families with disabilities – which Kitsch called an emerging market that needs access to financial services; * Connecticut, which invited 400 students to the state capitol to engage in a financial literacy program; * Pennsylvania, which has grown its involvement in the program faster than any other state; * The Ohio-founded “Stretch Pay” payday loan alternative, which has now expanded into eight states and has saved credit union members more than $6.5 million; * Michigan’s “Save to Win” program, which convinces consumers to save – a high percentage of which, Kitsch said, had never had savings before;
Kitsch said that the Real Solutions program will continue to promote league participation in 2010. (See related stories: Matz to AACUL: NCUA to help CUs manage higher risk, CUNA's Hampel: Economic freefall has ended, League leaders give political pointers at AACUL meeting. And in CU System: Wisconsin league president elected AACUL chairman.)


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